Travelers don’t always need a passport to discover dream destinations; sometimes happiness lies right in your backyard. Here’s a list of 10 Indian destinations that will help you cure your wanderlust without looking out too far.
The largest of the chain of islands to the east of Great Andaman in the Andaman Islands, Havelock has over the last few years emerged as one of the top beach destinations in the country. Before it gets any more crowded we suggest that you make a trip this year. It boasts of miles and miles of pristine golden beaches packed with beach huts, and crystal clear water is both a great place to dive as well as more leisurely snorkeling.
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Set against the stunningly pretty Vembanad Lake, the largest in Kerala, Kumarakom is a gem among the state’s numerous holiday destinations. You can have everything here: the serenity of the backwaters, the calm backdrop of a giant lake, and if you fancy a long drive, check out the miles and miles of green paddy fields in nearby Kuttanad, the rice bowl of Kerala.
Moving on to the east coast, the former French settlement will enchant you with its old world charm. The tree-lined streets, the mustard-colored colonial villas and the chic boutiques combined with a seaside promenade and the famous Auroville Ashram make for a truly enlightening experience.
Uttarakhand has been emerging as a favourite among young travellers these days as the hills in and around Almora and Auli are chock-a-block with trekkers throughout the year. But if you’re looking for some tranquility in order to listen to the mountains echo, this small hill station, north of Mussoorie, is where you need to be.
This is India’s answer to Europe’s Alps. This Himachal destination not only has its share of stunning snow-capped meadows, breathtaking towering peaks and beautiful scenery, but also hosts tribal festivals at the Sakya monastery in Kaza. You might even spot snow leopards, wolves, or blue sheep in the wilderness.
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The holy city has quickly become a hub of adventure sports in the country. So if you have some free time post monsoon, Rishikesh will offer you its pristine white waters to raft and its picturesque valleys to bungee jump. Take your own tent and sleeping bags and you won’t even have to look for accommodation.
If you live to eat and not eat to live, a trip to Lucknow is like a pilgrimage. Start off by munching in the lanes around the Tulsi theatre and then head to Aminabad and the rest of the old town for some mind-blowing kebabs and biryani; and not to forget, the shahi tukdas and the firnis for desserts. Drooling already?
One doesn’t really associate Madhya Pradesh with too many tourist destinations. But there’s a gem in the north eastern parts of the state that is also recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This group of Hindu and Jain temples forms for a rich tribute to the region’s history and art. They’ve got their share of Kama Sutra on the walls too, so try not visiting with your parents.
At the confluence of the Shyok and Siachen rivers, this is where magic actually comes to life. Located 150km from Leh, Nubra offers tremendous scenic beauty with a combination of oases, boulder fields and arid terrains. Have you booked your tickets already?
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A favourite for World Heritage status, the census town in Arunachal Pradesh is famous for its valleys, flourishing with life. It also plays host to the annual Ziro Music Festival that witnesses performances from famous international and local bands. Held usually in the second half of the year, it should definitely be on your list of destinations this year.
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